Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning falls to Penguins

PITTSBURGH — It seems fitting the way the Lightning season is going that the winning goal in Monday night's 4-3 loss to the Penguins at the Consol Energy Center was into an empty net.

And for sheer weirdness Tampa Bay got a goal off the face of forward Tom Pyatt.

But given the way things are going it also seemed appropriate that two bad turnovers — both by defenseman Eric Brewer, leading to goals by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby — would lead to the team's undoing.

"We're playing hard, we're playing good and we sabotage ourselves with two turnovers," coach Guy Boucher said. "There's no excuse. They're easy plays. Make the easy play and that's it."

Instead, Tampa Bay (9-11-1) turned what had been a terrific effort against the No. 2 team in the East into its fifth straight loss and sixth in its past seven games.

It also lost goaltender Mathieu Garon early in the second period to a lower body injury that seemed to happen as he twisted himself to get in position to stop a Malkin shot.

"I don't think anything needs to change," center Steven Stamkos said, addressing what he acknowledged will be the inevitable calls for coaching and personnel changes.

"We have to execute. That's the easy way out when people start talking like that. We're not thinking that. The coaching staff is working hard. We're in these games. We just have to find a way to win."

Stamkos did his part with two goals for a league-best 17. Pyatt's goal (on which Nate Thompson's shot deflected off a stick, ricocheted off Pyatt's face and floated over crouching goalie Marc-Andre Fleury) gave the Lightning a 2-1 lead with 8:01 left in a second period in which Tampa Bay pushed the play and had a 12-9 shot advantage.

But things unraveled in the third.

Brewer's giveaway to Malkin ended with Malkin going backhand to forehand at the top of the crease and slicing right-to-left between defenseman Matt Carle and a diving Brewer.

Lindback didn't have a chance and the score was 2-2 at 5:38.

"A great, unbelievable power move," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

"An unbelievable play," Boucher said. "But we gave it to him. We put the gun to our heads. It's unacceptable."

Brewer agreed.

"A bad play by me," he said.

His second giveaway led to Crosby's goal that made it 3-2 at 7:29.

James Neal's empty-net goal with 51.5 seconds left made it 4-2. That turned out to be important as Stamkos' goal with eight seconds left made it 4-3.

"We have to salvage a win somehow," Stamkos said of tonight's game at New Jersey that wraps up a four-game road trip. "We have to get at least a point."

Penguins 1 0 3 4
Lightning 0 2 1 3

First Period1, Pittsburgh, Kunitz 12 (Crosby), 4:13. PenaltiesLabrie, TB, major (fighting), 4:02; Engelland, Pit, major (fighting), 4:02; Aulie, TB (interference), 13:57; St. Louis, TB (cross-checking), 16:18; Engelland, Pit (cross-checking), 16:18.

Second Period2, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 16 (Hedman, St. Louis), 2:39. 3, Tampa Bay, Pyatt 5 (Thompson, Palat), 11:59. PenaltiesHedman, TB (tripping), :15; Brewer, TB (hooking), 13:47.

Third Period4, Pittsburgh, Malkin 5, 5:38. 5, Pittsburgh, Crosby 11 (Letang), 7:29. 6, Pittsburgh, Neal 14 (Malkin, Letang), 19:08 (en). 7, Tampa Bay, Stamkos 17 (Lecavalier, St. Louis), 19:52. PenaltiesNiskanen, Pit (interference), 3:00. Shots on GoalTampa Bay 7-12-9—28. Pittsburgh 11-9-12—32. Power-play opportunitiesTampa Bay 0 of 1; Pittsburgh 0 of 3. GoaliesTampa Bay, Garon (13 shots-12 saves), Lindback 7-5-1 (2:19 second, 18-16). Pittsburgh, Fleury 11-5-0 (28-25). A18,656 (18,387). T2:36. Referees—Francis Charron, Stephen Walkom. LinesmenDerek Nansen, Derek Amell.

Lightning falls to Penguins 03/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:25am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"


    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  2. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?


    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.
  3. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'


    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.
  5. USA Today sees Bucs as 10-6 wild card team in 2017


    Another day, another national outlet making NFL predictions, and this one is promising for Tampa Bay fans, as USA Today's Nate Davis has the Bucs going 10-6 and making the …

    Bucs DT Gerald McCoy tries to bring down Giants QB Eli Manning in a 2015 game. Tampa Bay and New York are both picked to finish 10-6 in USA Today's preseason predictions, both making the playoffs as wild cards.